Posted by: babybumper | October 6, 2010

Pick ‘Em Ripe: Voluntary Induction leads to High Risk Delivery

Girl Fruit Picking by Jmayer1129

Organic Birth

Although I don’t eat even close to organic, I think this is gross. I recently found out that most “fresh” tomatoes are picked before ripe while they are still green, then gassed to ripen them, and make them look the right color. Ew! There is a natural process for getting things ready in nature. The best tomato is one you can eat from the vine, not ones you have to artificially make ready.

Tomato Haul by Waldo Jaquith

Voluntary Induction interrupts the natural process of childbirth when the mother is not ready to deliver, and the baby is not prepared to live outside the womb. Because a woman’s body is not ready for labor, many mechanisms must be used to start the process. Each time the healthy cycle of nature is interrupted, we add risk for mom and baby. This is described as the “Cascade of Intervention.” When one aspect of labor is faked, we risk leaving the natural, healthy path of labor, and must keep interrupting the labor process, creating risk at every turn. Like a cascade, interfering at one level affects the next level, and on down the line.

Devil's Den Cascade By BaylorBear78

Every intervention has a Risk.

I am going to try to show you the relationship between Intervention and Risk for the 2 primary methods for starting labor artificially: Pitocin, and Breaking the Water.

Pitocin is an IV drug that is a lab-copy of a natural hormone: Oxytocin. The mechanism causing contractions in a normal labor is unknown, although oxytocin does have a part in it. During normal labor only small amounts of Oxytocin is found (6mU/min), but during induction much higher rates of Pitocin must be used (up to 30mU/min). This drug causes increased contractions, stronger contractions, and longer contractions.

2 Main Risks during Pitocin Administration

  1. Tetanic contractions- a large, long contraction during which the baby does not get any oxygen, may be an emergency for baby (Cesarean Section)
  2. Hyperstimulation of uterus- The baby cannot handle the abnormally hard, fast, and long contractions, and so starts to be in distress.

Ripe Pickin' by Axel D

Because of these risks, we must Intervene:

  1. Continuous Monitoring- the contractions and baby’s heart rate must be watched every minute, So mom is stuck in bed or near bed.
  2. Then Labor stalls from laying in bed. So, we increase Pitocin, and eventually perform a Cesarean Surgery for “Failure to Progress.” Also from mom laying in bed, the Baby can’t get into good position, (may be face up, or with the chin not flexed, or with the shoulders not ready to deliver). So we intervene again: and Deliver by vacuum (increased risk for baby bleeding and jaundice), forceps (frequently cause mom to tear, may damage bowel and bladder control), Cesarean surgery, or other emergency measures if baby’s shoulders get stuck.
  3. The pitocin eventually stresses the baby, and there is an abnormal baby heart rate. Mom must wear oxygen, and again is tied to bed. If the heart rate doesn’t improve, we perform a Cesarean surgery.

Pitocin causes painful contractions that peak sooner, last longer, and come more frequently than normal labor contractions, with the inability to move freely and handle the pain.

  1. Intervention: Anesthesia. An early epidural (before 5 cm) increases chance baby will not be positioned well for delivery, probably because the mom is stuck in bed. The epidural also interferes with a woman’s ability to push effectively. Therefore, Delivery by vacuum, forceps, or Cesarean surgery may become necessary.
  2. The biggest side effect of an epidural a drop in blood pressure. Then Medicine must be given to treat low blood pressure, which poses risk to baby at birth. Also, Lots of fluids are given. Fluid overload slows labor, increases risk for serous bleeding at delivery (hemmorrhage), causes breast engoregment (which makes it difficult to latch a baby and is painful). The baby will also lose a lot of water weight after delivery, making it appear that he is not growing right and needs more milk, causing early supplimentation, causing decreased milk supply, causing all kinds of risks from not breastfeeding.

When a doctor breaks the water, especially when it is done early on in labor, as is frequently done to speed up an induction, there are risks.

  1. The Cord could fall below baby’s head. Emergency Cesarean surgery is necessary. Because of this risks, many doctors won’t let you get up at all afterwards (see Stuck in Bed ramifications).
  2. Infection- the “water” is a sterile barrier of protection for the baby. After the water has broken, every vaginal exam increases the risk for infection. Therefore it becomes essential for delivery to happen quickly. If delivery doesn’t come quick enough, Cesarean Surgery is imperative. The newborn and mom could get an infection.

Induction is useful in rare cases where the baby & mama would be better off delivered. Do these bad results always happen from Medical Intervention? No. But they do happen frequently. Research has proven each of them, and I have seen each of these situations over and over. Our culture needs to wake and up and realize Organic Birth is the Healthiest Birth. It is Good for a woman to be 41 weeks pregnant! It is healthier for the mom and baby to go into labor unassisted.

If you can, wait until your baby is Ripe for the Pickin’! Choosing to induce is like grabbing a green tomato and gassing it ripe. It is unnatural, bypasses the healthy mechanisms of childbirth, and creates unnecessary intervention and risk for mamas and babies. The only way to know that baby & mama are ready is when a woman goes into labor.

Plump and Juicy Fruit by Nattu



  1. […] into spontaneous labor to reducing fatigue and a difficult […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: